Written by Andrew Schadegg
Those warm nights and sizzling days are quickly being replaced by chilly temperatures and fall leaves. Just like the trees and the temperatures, bass are also in the process of changing from their summer homes to their winter residences.
As seasonal conditions begin to change the bite can get tough, as bass move from their warm weather routines to their fall hunting grounds. Before that incredible fall fishing starts, here are 3 words that will help you get through the summer to fall transition.
If there is one time a year when a “run-and-gun” approach is the best option, the fall transition is it. Bass can be all over the place when the temperature starts dropping. They can be deep, shallow, on rocks, docks, riprap, points or in the backs of creeks (and anywhere in between). Keep moving. Get a fast bait, like a lipless crank or squarebill, and work quickly to make sure you cover a lot of water.
Keep an eye out for bait. As they start balling up and moving into coves and the backs of creeks, you need to follow them and fish around them. Bait is the biggest factor in the fall, so if you don’t see the bait or any activity you should move on to the next spot. When you do spot bait, and especially if you see bass busting through them on the surface, work topwater and subsurface baits like flukes, jerkbaits, or glide baits.
During this transition period, you may end up with a lot of rods out on your deck and a whole bunch of different baits rigged up. The name of the game is adapting. Be willing to try a lot of different presentations to see what is going to work. This might change as the day goes on, because the bass will constantly be on the move, so being flexible is super important. If you know that late summer, early fall transition has started, be ready to do some serious junk fishing.
When you get out on the water this month, remember to MOVE, LOOK and ADAPT and you’ll be catching summer to fall transition fish in no time!